Humans Are Underrated: What High Achievers Know that Brilliant Machines Never Will

Summary

Geoff Colvin, also the bestselling author of Talent Is Overrated, explains how the skills that are economically valued are changing in historic ways. The knowledge worker is being replaced by the relationship worker. This is because computers are able to pull up information and data faster than any human can. What machines can’t do, however, is provide the social skills that are uniquely human.

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“As the shift in valuable skills continues, organizations are finding not only that they have no jobs for the disengaged and socially inept, but that such people are toxic to the enterprise and must be removed.” – Geoff Colvin, Humans Are Underrated

In Humans Are Underrated Geoff Colvin takes on the big question of what humans can contribute in a machine-based society. According to the media, the future is bright for machines: They will replace us as drivers, pilots, bank tellers and they are quickly erasing white-collar jobs across the globe. What hope is there for humans when computers can make logical decisions, identify faces, improve efficiencies in offices and factories, and even write fiction?

Will our children live in a world where computers take over most of the tasks people perform today, creating unprecedented unemployment rates and decreasing living standards for the vast majority of human beings? Once the topic of animated cocktail debate, this question is now being discussed in all seriousness among business and economic leaders.

“Google’s autonomous cars are an obvious and significant example—significant because the number one job among American men is truck driver.”

Colvin, also the bestselling author of Talent Is Overrated, explains how the skills that are economically valued are changing in historic ways. The knowledge worker is being replaced by the relationship worker. This is because computers are able to pull up information and data faster than any human can. What machines can’t do, however, is provide the social skills that are uniquely human.

Left-brain skills will dramatically decrease in importance while new value is created through empathy, creativity, social sensitivity, storytelling, humor and building relationships. These new-valued skills will create a tremendous competitive advantage in winning more devoted customers, creating stronger work cultures, delivering more breakthrough ideas, and cultivating highly effective teams.

Will we embrace this shift as the value of interpersonal skills comes into focus? Even today, leaders with a human approach touch us on a much deeper level than leaders with technical skills. As technology advances faster each day, we will never be able to beat computers at what they do best. Instead, we must teach our children the value of human experiences. They will be better human beings and more valuable members of society because of it.

Buy the book at Amazon.com

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